- Nike late Friday indefinitely delayed the reopening of its offices as Covid cases rise.
- Earlier in the week, the company said it would stick with a plan to reopen in January.
- Nike was one of the last large companies to delay its return-to-office plans.
Nike on Friday indefinitely delayed the reopening of its offices as the Omicron variant pushes Covid cases higher.
“We will not return to US offices as planned on January 10,” reads an email sent to Nike employees Friday afternoon. “Instead, like our teammates in (Europe) are doing, we are committed to providing 4 weeks’ notice in advance of our full return.”
Nike was one of the last large companies to delay its return-to-office plans.
In September, Microsoft and Linkedin both gave up on setting return-to-office dates. Earlier in December, Google told employees it would postpone its planned January return-to-office. On Wednesday, Apple delayed its reopening indefinitely.
In the email to Nike employees, Monique Matheson, Nike’s chief human resources officer, noted the rise in cases from the Omicron variant as a reason for the delay.
Insider reviewed a copy of the email, the contents of which were confirmed by four additional employees.
“The Omicron variant is indeed highly contagious, with more data and time needed to determine what impact Omicron will have on our public health systems,” Matheson said in the email. “Experts are predicting case levels to surge in the coming weeks, which coincides with our planned return to our workplaces.”
As recently as Tuesday, Nike had stood by its plan to reopen its offices in January, despite an internal survey that showed only 54% of Nike employees said the plan gave them enough professional flexibility.
The company had planned to return to its offices outside of Portland, Oregon, three days a week in January, a plan that rankled many employees.
A Nike spokeswoman did not immediately return an email about the delayed reopening.
“Thank you so much for your flexibility, understanding and resilient this year,” Matheson said in the email. “When we do return, we will embrace flexibility as I reinforced on Tuesday, and we will be ready to welcome everyone back with support, energy and excitement.”
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